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MedCity to lead UK delegation to BioJapan

Announcement – MedCity leads first UK delegation to Asia’s biggest biotech expo since the pandemic

For the first time in three years, the UK will be sending a delegation to BioJapan, led by MedCity, and including UK health scientists and research institutions spanning the north and south of England. BioJapan, the world’s longest-running annual life sciences expo and Asia’s largest will be held in Yokohama from 1214 October this year.

The 2022 delegation builds on previous MedCity missions since 2015 to showcase the UK’s life sciences offer to Japan, cement existing relationships and forge future collaborations supporting the Government’s Life Sciences Vision to secure the UK’s position as a science superpower.

Underscoring the significance of the BioJapan delegation, the UK is Japan’s fourth biggest collaborator on scientific research, and the quality of UK-Japan research in fields such as medicine and immunology is over more than 6.5 times the world average higher than with the USA, Germany or China for both countries, according to data from the UK Government’s Life Science Innovation Network.

Since MedCity was founded in 2014, in partnership with London’s Academic Health Science Centres, the organisation has prioritised relationship building with Japan for inward investment to the UK.

Neelam Patel, CEO of MedCity, said: “For the past eight years, we have concentrated international engagement on Japan because it is the largest source of Foreign Direct Investment in the world, and the second largest pharma market. BioJapan has proved an important platform, in helping us build collaborations between UK academic research institutes and East Asian industry. We continue to grow those relationships, particularly in areas where the UK excels – such as cell and gene therapy and oncology – joining the strengths of the UK and Japan to accelerate innovation for the benefit of our economy and global health.”

Underpinning MedCity’s annual UK delegations to BioJapan is a close relationship with the Japanese Bioindusty Association (JBA), a Tokyo-based non-profit organization established in 1987. The membership base spans a wide array of biotech companies in Japan, and BioJapan is one of the JBA’s biggest forums for promoting open innovation.

Setsuo Morishita, Director, Business Development at JBA said: “We are truly delighted to have the UK delegation in person at BioJapan 2022. JBA and MedCity have had a cooperative relationship ever since MedCity was founded in 2014. We respect the UK’s high level of science and expect the delegation to achieve much on this trip, including the formation of new collaborations with Japanese industry and academia.”

We are pleased that Professor David Lomas, Vice Provost (Health), University College London, and MedCity board member, has been invited to deliver the keynote speech for BioJapan 2022. Professor Lomas said: “I am delighted to be able to give the keynote address at BioJapan 2022, as this is a fabulous opportunity to celebrate and build on historical links with Japan. The greatest challenges in health and life sciences require the complementary expertise of many partners, including academia and industry. By fostering further research collaborations between Japanese institutions and UK academics, we can continue to maximise the social impact of our work.”

Delegate views of BioJapan

This year, the delegation includes institutions and companies who have been part of previous MedCity missions, alongside some new faces. Ahead of departure, we asked some of our delegates why BioJapan is so key to their activities…

“We have been attending BioJapan for many years now and always find the event to be beneficial to us when developing new relationships and meeting with our peers. It’s a great opportunity to get face to face with so many innovators in the industry to share ideas and opportunities.”
– Dr Jorg Taubel, Richmond Pharmacology.

“We view Japan as a global player in health innovation and as an essential partner in the wider commercialisation of our opportunities. With a thriving biotech industry, Japan is well positioned to engage in not only the development aspects of new technologies, but also to be a strategic partner in manufacturing and bringing advanced therapies to the marketplace. UCLB is open to exploring working together at all levels of new technology development to deliver impact.”
– Mark Fisher, Associate Director of UCL Business.

“Attending BioJapan is the best opportunity to engage directly with Japanese companies well known for developing sophisticated and cutting-edge innovations. The forum that BioJapan provides is the environment to establish exciting new relationships – and build on existing ones – to facilitate collaborative working between the UK’s research system and Japan’s life science sector.”
– Dr James Richards, Head of Business Development, NIHR.

“If you are looking to engage with innovative biotech companies and develop drug pipelines, you have to attend BioJapan.”
– Professor Gino Martini, CEO, Precision Health Technology Accelerator.

Meet us there

If you are attending BioJapan between 12–14 October, you can find the UK delegation at stand B-46, and on the partnering platform on the BioJapan website.

Prior to BioJapan, the delegation will be in Tokyo on 11 October for the UK Life Sciences Symposium, co-hosted by MedCity and Link-J. This in-person symposium is bringing together leading life science organisations from the UK and Japan.

Find out more

For more information on the UK delegation to BioJapan 2022, please see our brochure.

Please follow MedCity on LinkedIn and Twitter for regular updates on the delegation’s activities.

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